Setters Profile: Dylan Mouzakes


Dylan Mouzakes keeps the emails from schools that denied him because he couldn’t throw 90 mph and looks at them from time-to-time for motivation. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mouzakes.

James Miranda , Sports Editor

Pace pitcher Dylan Mouzakes took his New York Cardinals hat off and looked at the brim. He saw two names—Taylor and Gramps—and let them take over.

Taylor and Gramps, or Ronald, are Mouzakes’s younger cousin and grandfather who passed away from brain and colon cancer, respectively. They are also his idols because they, as well as baseball, molded him.

Mouzakes was pitching in the North Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (NACBL) and found himself in a tough situation three summers ago. He allowed two hits and a walk to load the bases with no outs in the seventh inning of a tied game.

After looking at his hat, he’d go on to strike out the side.
“[Taylor] was always my hero because he had so much strength, every year [doctors would tell him] ‘you’re not going to live past next year,’ and he would always make it to that next year,” Mouzakes said. “Gramps was just someone who was very tough [whom] I try to think of when I’m in a tough situation.”

Much like how his family is always with him, baseball has been too. The Long Island native started playing baseball at seven-years-old, often times with neighbors. They were older, bigger, faster, and stronger but he kept up with them.

His baseball vocation bloomed late just as he did physically. He started out as a shortstop that hit for average, but started pitching his junior year in high school.

Just as his little cousin was doubted, Mouzakes was doubted that he’d ever pitch in college because of his stature and the inability to throw 90 miles per hour.

“I was like five-foot-10-inches coming into college, like 150 pounds soaking wet, and threw only 78 [miles per hour],” said Mouzakes, who now throws in the high-eighties. “That’s the way a college looks at it, people want to see someone light up the radar. You can be painting corners and if you’re not 10-0 you’re not going to really get looked at.”

Neither Division I nor Division II schools wanted him, Division III schools did, but there was no money. Pace passed on him initially. He reached out to Henry Manning, head coach of Pace baseball, and walked onto the team.

The finance major chose Pace as well just in case baseball doesn’t work out he wanted a good education. Manning gave him that chance to play college ball, but only as a pitcher.

“I kind of got on him through someone I knew that was his pitching coach out in Long Island and I said it’d be easier [to pitch],” Manning said. “He’s a hard working kid and I said that’s going to develop over the years. From his freshmen year on he’s gotten better and better.”

Mouzakes was 6-0 his freshman year and contributed greatly to the 2013 Setters baseball team that went 33-17 and made it to Regionals. Mouzakes finished the 2016 season 8-2 with a 2.26 ERA and 71 strikeouts.

As a reminder of all the work he’s put in to prove his doubters wrong, Mouzakes keeps the emails from coaches that denied him because he couldn’t throw hard enough.

“There’s always been people who said you’re not going to pitch in college,” Mouzakes said. “When you prove someone wrong that’s an achievement. You never want to walk by someone on the street that told you, ‘you can’t do it’ and be like ‘you’re right I can’t do it.’

“Whenever I go back to those people, I never look at them in a bad way, but I’m confident when I shake their hand. They know ‘this kid he did it.’”

Taylor and Gramps are two names on a hat. Two names that don’t mean anything to anyone else, but to Mouzakes, they mean everything.

His two inspirations hung in there tough and Mouzakes hangs in tough with every pitch he throws.